I was saddened but not shocked to see Renfrewshire Foodbank is predicting a massive 30 per cent increase in foodbank use when Universal Credit begins to be fully rolled out in Renfrewshire.

I have already heard the horror stories this benefit has caused with the partial roll-out in Renfrewshire. The full roll-out has been delayed here but this will be implemented in September.

The delays and errors that have been seen in other areas across Scotland will be inevitable in Renfrewshire unless the UK Government goes back to the drawing board again regarding this particular benefit.

Various reports, audits and experts have called for a halt in this benefit until it is fixed but this has fallen on deaf ears at the UK Government.

The reality is people are being left destitute and vulnerable due to this benefit and that is why we are seeing an increase in foodbank usage across areas where Universal Credit has been rolled out.

The Renfrewshire Foodbank is already busy due to mismanaged disability assessments, unfair sanctions, benefit delays, general administrative errors and many other issues affecting constituents who visit my office, looking for assistance.

The Conservatives are not living in the real world and cannot relate with the fact food poverty is increasing across the entire UK due to mismanaged, austerity-driven Tory welfare policies.

Renfrewshire Foodbank is always looking for donations and I know from experience the people of Renfrewshire are a generous bunch and we support our foodbanks.

I do feel it is important however that, every now and again, we take a look at the issue for what it is because foodbanks should not be the norm here in Renfrewshire.

Unfortunately, while we have this cut-obsessed UK Government directing policy, foodbanks will continue to be a staple in the Renfrewshire community.

If you would like to donate money or food to the foodbank, visit renfrewshire.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/.

If you need help from the foodbank or you would like to help or volunteer, you can call them on 0300 102 2500 or email info@renfrewshire.foodbank.org.uk.

Elsewhere, last week saw graduations taking place for students at the University of the West of Scotland’s Paisley campus.

I always enjoy seeing the students around Paisley town centre with their gowns on, along with their proud families, and a smile on everyone’s faces, having just graduated.

The town is always so upbeat at this time of year when graduations are taking place. It is such a fantastic accomplishment, so a big well done to all our students across Renfrewshire who are graduating from university and college this summer.

You will now all be going on to fulfil your ambitions, goals and dreams. I wish you well in your journey into life as a graduate. 

We have been having an absolutely smashing summer, so now is the time to get out and enjoy it after all of your hard work studying over the years.